Growing up in France, I watched the Club Dorothe aired every Wednesday on Tv. This program has deeply influenced a generation of French people born in the 80’s. It was at the time the most popular TV show and has never been replaced by anything this good. If you were wondering how France became the second market in the world for Mangas after Japan, that’s what started it all. It was featuring each week episodes of Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, The Northern Star, Cobra and many others. I grew up thinking I could be one of these heroes. It led me to start drawing and replicating the different characters of the series, allowing me to disappear from the worries of my own world. It was my escape from living the established normal life of a kid, the long boring hours in school pretending to listen to teachers. After the show got cancelled, I started reading manga and realize to my surprise that I somehow preferred the pace of reading them. My collection grew like mad and when I decided to move to Ireland, I left behind close to 2000 mangas. And before you ask, my obvious favorite are Dragon Ball, One piece, Hunter x hunter, Slam Dunk and the classic of the classics Akira.
When the time came to search for ideas for a show, it became obvious that I will go back in time and recreate the visual world that was my hideout and shelter as a kid. But I didn’t want to mimic any of them. I just wanted to be me, but a better version of me, fearless, limitless, inspired and living in a realm bigger than life.
I had no formal training in theater but that was not to stop me. I had the belief that if you put your heart and hard work at it, you will always find a way through. Then Fernando came on board and put my ideas in a more structured theatrical setting.
If you have seen my performances and have a passion for Manga, you’ll recognise the characters in it. The old man will remind you of the hermit turtle from Dragon Ball, the costumes got a touch of Bleach and Samurai Champloo, while the music score and the four elements are the pure gold from Avatar: The Last Airbender. The character of the odd alchemist in the show would be the mad result of merging Dragon Ball with a bit of Porco Rosso. Movies such as Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have also been a massive inspiration.
I sprinkle my performances with many visual and sound reference and try to keep them close to the unique spirit found in Mangas. And just before it gets too much or too obvious, I bring into it a lot of myself and twist it through my own interpretation. So you have to look very closely sometimes to spot the original source of inspiration. But even if are not a big fan of Manga the show still has a lot to offer as it was thought from the start for all kind of audiences. We have performed in many different settings and for different crowds and it seems that everybody finds it’s own interpretation in it. You can assess the quality of a performance by wondering if it managed to transcend genres and generation. And most important than anything, It should leave enough space to allow everyone to make their own story out of it, waking up the power of people’s creativity.
I guess you would like to know some of the secrets of the creation of the show. I’ll be glad to share it with you. But this, my friend, will be part of another chapter.
Thanks for reading and see you soon,